September 11, 2008

Affordable Home Sites Considered

By Ben Falconer

Three sites have been identified as possible locations for 20 new affordable homes on the edge of Minchinhampton.

Consultants have whittled site options down from 29 to two next to the Bulwarks and another north of The Tynings.

Because of heavy demand for affordable homes in Minchinhampton, Stroud District Council has commissioned Savills to search for possible sites.

The landowners of those three sites have told Savills they would consider selling, although if other suitable sites crop up, it is not too late for them to be considered.

Savills' findings were presented to the public on Friday and Saturday at Minchinhampton Church.

Nick Matthews, an associate director of Savills, said consultation would continue until after Christmas, then an outline planning application would be put in.

"We want to make sure we have looked at every possible site and if anyone proposes another, we will look at it," he said.

The district council has 67 applicants who want to live in Minchinhampton and a study by Gloucestershire Rural Community Council found a shortage of 20 affordable homes in the parish.

Building on one of the proposed sites would not normally be permitted but planning rules allow for affordable homes.

Minchinhampton Parish Council has told the district council it would be likely to oppose development of these sites as it has written to SDC to oppose development to the north of the Cirencester Road, or to the west of the village.

A second consultation exercise on actual proposals for one of the sites will take place before any outline planning application is made by Savills.

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